The Soma Shelf
This project creates a furniture of a particular aesthetic that usually requires complicated joinery but to achieve an aesthetic with a simpler means. Most Furnitures nowadays have multiple various parts and tones of screws that make up a furniture piece and solely requires for the screws and pins to keep the furniture in place. When looking into joinery, especially Japanese joinery, it is known that pieces do not need any adhesive or any metal parts for a piece to keep its form and hold its own structure and weight. With the correct cuts and placements, a piece can do all of that on its own. Joints are seen for their aesthetics or to join two or more pieces together. Japanese joinery takes it to a whole new level
Traditional Japanese joinery is made entirely without the use of metal fasteners or adhesives. While building without the use of nails or other fasteners is not at all unique to Japan, the types of joints used, the durability of the structures created, and the complete absence of iron makes Japanese joinery stand out. It is seen all over Japan and the type of joinery is limitless. Its purpose is to hold a structure together and everything relies on each other but can still be beautiful.
The Soma shelf takes its name from a famous puzzle game called a Soma Cube or Burr Puzzle. The interlocking puzzles form a variety of geometrically pleasing structures and are traditionally made of wood, bamboo, or ivory. The Chinese wood knot, a notorious interlocking puzzle has five moves that are needed before the first piece can be removed. The aim of the game is to disassemble it and assemble it back together and is harder than it locks as each piece interlocks with another one. the interlocking puzzles share some characteristics with traditional Chinese carpentry.
The Soma Shelf is made up of only three different pieces. Each piece has 4. These components were made up of 3 layers with the top and bottom being identical to each other and the middle piece slightly different. Each piece either interlocks one or the other or fits snug into a slot. The sizing of the shelving unit is 1200 x1200 mm. The shelf looks like a grid form, but some pieces extrude out more. Whatever side you want it to stand on it will look the same.